Prosecution allege ‘interference’ in Arror and Kimwarer witnesses
A Nairobi court has heard that there is an interference of witnesses in the Sh63 billion graft case facing former Finance Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich in the Arror and Kimwarer dams scandal.
Thus, Alexander Muteti, a deputy director of public prosecutions (DDPP), Special prosecutor Taib Ali Taib and Vincent Monda told Milimani Chief magistrate Lawrence Mugambi they will file an application seeking orders to compel witnesses to attend court and testify against Rotich and the other accused.
“There is heavy interference of witnesses in this case. I do not want to turn this issue into a market altercation between the prosecution and the defence. We will file a formal application seeking certain reliefs,” Mr Taib told chief magistrate Lawrence Mugambi.
Mr Taib lamented that the prosecution has put the court in a quagmire after a witness namely Gideon Rotich developed cold feet after he was summoned to testify.
“I have confirmed from the DCI there is an active matter which is under investigations for the interference of witnesses in this matter,” Muteti told Mr Mugambi.
Muteti further told the court that prosecuting the corruption case against the CS has become a ‘heavy task’.
“We have prosecuted matters before but I say this with a heavy heart that this is a difficult process” lamented Muteti.
Taib ,Muteti and Monda further told the court that the office of the DPP has learnt there are serious efforts by the defence to persuade and interfere with the witnesses not to appear in court to testify.
The revelation came to the fore after Senior Counsel (SC) Kioko Kilukumi for Mr Rotich objected to a witness Gideon Rotich taking the witness stand to testify.
Mr Kilukumi told the court pretrial guidelines on the sequence of when each witness will be called and the documents to be relied on have not been adhered to.
The SC claimed the prosecution witness was not the second witness to testify in this matter but was witness number 28.
Mr Kilukumi further told the court that the prosecution notified the defence team about the witness late on Wednesday night.
He further alleged that the documents which were sent by the prosecution via email were received on Thursday morning and the defence team has not had time to go through them.
When Gideon Rotich was asked by Mugambi whether he had difficulties in testifying, he answered in the affirmative and sought for time to prepare to testify.
Mugambi noted the witness was tensed and needed time to cool down.
“This is my first time appearing in a court of law. I am tensed and fearful. I need to be prepared and taken through the prosecution motions,” Mr Rotich told the court.
He added he was summoned to the DCI’s office and ordered to attend court on Thursday and remain in court until he was given further instructions.
Mr Rotich, a NEMA employee said he needed time to acquaint himself with the case before testifying against the former CS.
The case was adjourned to November 18, 2022 to enable the DPP put its house in order.
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